Five Eco-Friendlier Cars for a Greener Commute

April 11, 2018

Five Eco-Friendlier Cars for a Greener Commute

The Chevrolet Bolt takes home two blue ribbons for being green.

Canadians are always looking to save money on gas and if you’ve ever thought about buying a car that sips gas rather than guzzling it, the time might be right to switch to an environmentally-friendly ride.

With gas prices on the rise, opting to buy a fuel-efficient or an electric vehicle could be the way to go. According to Natural Resources Canada, the average price of gasoline in Canada is more than $1.30 per litre. At the start of the year, in comparison, the average price for fuel hovered around $1.23.

Canadians who are looking to save money on gas and are looking to buy a new car may want to shift their attention to electric, hybrid or environmentally-friendly vehicles as the 2018 Canadian Green Car Awards were recently announced at the Green Living Show in Toronto. Also worth considering are the top green rides as selected by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) at the Vancouver International Auto Show in March.

Below are the winners.

2018 Canadian Green Car Award Winners
Zero Emission Category Chevrolet Bolt
Plug-in Hybrid Category Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Traditional Hybrid Electric Category Hyundai Ioniq HEV
Efficient Gasoline/Diesel Internal Combustion Category Honda Civic
AJAC’s 2018 Canadian Green Vehicle Picks
Canadian Green Car of the Year Chevrolet Bolt
Canadian Green Utility Vehicle of the Year Kia Niro

What is a ‘green car?’

Sure these winners are great vehicles in their respective categories but what exactly is a ‘green car?’ According to the press release by Green Living, in order to be classified as a green car, vehicles must have a strong presence in the automotive market and must also be efficient in ‘green qualities’ such as fuel economy and emissions. The judges’ assessments in the vehicles’ performance, driving experience, value, and features, factor in as well.

“The task for the Canadian Green Car Award judges gets more challenging as automakers continue to raise the bar in technology, fuel economy and quality,” said Laurie Simmonds, President and CEO of Green Living Enterprises, which operates the annual Green Living Show. “The four finalists are all outstanding ‘green’ vehicles.”

According to AJAC, a green car is a vehicle which, for its size and purpose, provides the Canadian consumer with environmentally-friendly returns that compare favourably with other vehicles in its class.

Tips on buying a fuel-efficient car

There are many fuel-efficient cars to choose from and the following tips will help you shop for one that will save you money at the pumps.

Research before you buy

Buyers should look into how they will utilize their vehicle. Usually, the smaller the car is the cheaper it will be. However, if you have a family or will need to have space consider buying the smallest vehicle that will accommodate your needs while also being fuel-efficient.

A manual transmission is more ‘green’

Not only will buyers save money on smaller cars but manual transmission vehicles are generally more environmentally-friendly in terms of fuel consumption. On the flip-side, those who opt-in for an automatic transmission should consider more gears as the engine will run better.

More ways to be fuel-efficient and to save money

Vehicles that have smaller engines and a simple drivetrain burn less fuel. For example, a vehicle with a two-litre, four-cylinder engine and a two-wheel drivetrain would be the best option for those buyers looking to save money on gas as less fuel is needed. Also, features such as aluminum wheels, cruise control, navigation systems, sunroof, and tinted windows all contribute to saving energy, fuel, and money.

Limit the vehicle’s extra features

Vehicle features such power windows, seats, mirrors and door locks add unnecessary weight to a car which increases fuel consumption and may be of extra cost. Another feature that increases the use of fuel is a remote car starter. Waiting inside the house for the car to warm up saves time but wastes fuel. As inciting it may be, buyers should limit these features.

Following these tips will ensure buyers make the best decision possible in buying a fuel-efficient vehicle.

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